In collaboration with Adams and Ollman, Fleisher/Ollman is pleased to announce Midnight Sun, an installation by Paul Swenbeck and Joy Feasley for NADA House on Governors Island, New York. Swenbeck and Feasley experiment across a variety of media to create otherworldly installations rooted in craft and folk traditions. Midnight Sun creates a symbolic space where the historic architecture of Governors Island is imbued with elements of science fiction and magic.
Sculptural interventions centered around the hearth mix the uncanny with hand-crafted domestic objects. A series of cast metal works will be on view, including Notes Grimoire, 2017, which implies texts and codes used for spells or charms, and The Last Bell, 2017, which can be rung by viewers. Symbolically carrying information or the intent of the artists, Feasley’s brass sculpture functions like traditional bells: to carry messages, exile spirits, or mark an occasion.
Centrally placed on a rug made by the artists in collaboration with the Fabric Workshop and Museum from wool braids given to Feasley by her grandmother is the animistic sculpture Glimmung, 2018. The title of the work references an alien character from Phillip K. Dick’s 1969 science fiction novel The Galactic Pot-Healer, while the sculpture’s surface and form resemble the seaweed covered rocks along the New England coast, a nod to Swenbeck’s interest in the fossil record as well as alien-like creatures in the marine environment. On shelves built into the hearth will be collaborative redware bowls which feature marbleized glazes reminiscent of Colonial American pottery traditions. Swenbeck and Feasley’s contemporary versions incorporate text hidden in the surface patterning. These small-scale works are on view alongside other symbolic ceramic and glass pieces made by the artists, which reference traditional and arcane tools such as mager discs and sundials. Allegorical paintings with a lexicon that includes abstract geometric line work, color wheels and candles line the walls and transport the viewer to realms beyond everyday experience.